Everyone is always talking about their rights, whether their right to something, or their rights at stake. What about our civic duties and responsibilities?
I’m not afraid of losing my rights if Trump replaces RBG’s open vacancy. Losing our jobs to pay the bills, being able to productive members of society. The ability and duty to vote. Being called for jury duty. Joining the military. Planning families responsibly, to minimize unwanted children. Access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare.
Voting is not just a right, but the most important civic duty—if we’re unable to vote, we lose our ability to vote into, and out of, power people who would or won’t protect all the people.
You have a duty to work, to provide for yourself and family—and to pay taxes. If we can’t find a job without fear of being dismissed because we’re LGBTQ, we can’t pay our taxes, and thus unnecessarily live off welfare, not something the average taxpayer wants to think about.
If we don’t have access to affordable housing, we’re forced into homeless shelters or motels. We already have issues with our trans sisters fighting to gain and retain access to safe spaces; our homeless shelters are already overburdened thanks to the recession (if not already a depression), they can’t afford having us add to their numbers if landlords are able to turn us away.
Hospitals are overburdened because people without healthcare just go straight to the ER or urgency care because they can’t afford a trip to the doctor for minor health issues. If we can’t access basic healthcare, we overwhelm the hospitals. This especially will stretch thin rural hospitals, as the ACA cut their funding because all of us were supposed to have healthcare—and Republicans made sure that didn’t happen.
No access to family planning clinics will return women back to the dark days of getting unsafe abortions, or having to take time off from work to travel long distances to get safe abortions or find someone to give them birth control. Time off they can’t afford. Meaning they may lose their jobs, and thus end up on unemployment, raising any unplanned kids.
I’m not asking for my rights, or even fighting that these bigots stop fighting to deny me my rights. I’m demanding that these bigots stop interfering with my duties to be a proactive, productive member of society.
I’m sure if we change the discussion from one about our rights to one about our duties, we’d gain far more allies, and our enemies will lose their fire power.